Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Responsibility ramble

To make things easy, I say I have a crippling sense of shame. This isn't actually true. I don't have much shame because it only rarely occurs to me to do shameful things, and when they do occur, I'm usually too lazy to do anything about it (shave, wax, drive to Mexico with a goat, a chicken and 20 yards of fine-mesh cheesecloth…you know how it goes)

The reality is; I have a crippling sense of propriety. I'm not sure where it came from since I was the sort of kid who would run through a room with her skirt over her head just for attention (haven't done that in years) but somewhere lodged in the tarry black recesses of my psyche is a definite idea of what is and --more importantly-- what is Not Done.

Number one on the Not Done Hot 100? Being "common".

Common, obvious, lacking in subtlety…none of those words are quite right ("common" sounds too condescending, "obvious" makes subterfuge sound preferable, and "lacking in subtlety"…well, that doesn't precisely drip off the tongue, does it?) but maybe you'll be able to mesh things together.

I hate --as much as I hate anything-- the obvious, and friends, it is all around us. People are "too busy" to be subtle, that's the safe line. I suspect it's more apt that we've become too lazy, and maybe it's because I'm projecting some sort of deep self-loathing, but I think I blame women.

We've let our standards slip. We don't hold ourselves --or our men-- as socially accountable anymore. Men, God bless 'em, aren't the dumb animals they're portrayed to be, but they --with little exception-- do what they do so we'll let them do us.

I don't think women understand that responsibility. We don't take it with the gravitas we ought. Why? Well because we want to get laid too, and are tired of having to be the responsible ones. I dig it. I mean, being responsible isn't always the most fun. Being responsible seldom means you wind up doing fun things that end up in pregnancy or thigh-prints on the hood of a 1957 matte-black Cadillac. (what? I wasn't always Anglican.)

But it's the right thing to do. It's part of being good, and what is there other than being good? Not good like goody two shoes and not good like going to church and saying all the creeds with appropriately phoned-in nuance and diction, but Good. Like Jesus was good. Good and gentle and cleverly kind.

and never, ever common.


Blogger Mary Beth said...

My mamma calls common "being poorly raised."

8:16 PM  
Blogger SingingOwl said...

My mama called common "vulgar."
Good post, IMO.

8:34 AM  
Blogger St. Casserole said...

Well said. It takes effort to do and be our best.
Thanks for sharing this.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Glen said...

I always thought being common was something like "(s)he calls the Knaves 'Jacks'"

But then, were I you, I wouldn't set much store by my opinions — I've often failed to see the purple in faded gray or the sublime in the ridiculous (and I have yet to "find Waldo" at all, ever.)

11:11 PM  

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